A client of mine wants a new smartphone, and she specifically gave this brief: No BlackBerry No large sized device or display No touchscreen Sigh.

Finding a Non-touchscreen, QWERTY mobile in 2012

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Nokia Asha 302

A client of mine wants a new smartphone, and she specifically gave this brief:

  1. No BlackBerry
  2. No large sized device or display
  3. No touchscreen

Sigh. I knew immediately that this was going to be a tough one. No major manufacturer produces any smartphones without a touchscreen any more. Even when a QWERTY keyboard is present, a touchscreen is in the picture too. The Nokia Asha and Samsung Ch@t range of phones are there, but they are not smartphones. Nokia’s Asha 302 packs a 1GHz processor, WiFi and HSDPA mobile internet, but lacks the multitasking that my client is used to. To put it mildly, she is beyond feature phones. She would get frustrated on a non-smartphone.

If she really wants to stick to the above brief, she might have to settle for a Nokia E72, if that can still be found in the market. It is a 2009 smartphone that runs the dinosaur Symbian S60 v3.2. I am thinking that I will wither and die using such a phone today. I am betting that she just might too.

I keep saying that there is a segment of the market that are not into the touchscreen thing. I have a handful of clients who have tried out touchscreen phones and decided that they do not want any such devices. Sadly, no-one seems interested in catering to this class of consumers.

In the meantime, any ideas? Are there any capable modern smartphones that meet the above criteria? I might have missed something.


  1. Mr Mobility, if you think the nokia asha 302 would have been ok for you client if not for the lack of mutitasking, then I think the Nokia E5 will be perfect for him/her.

  2. Nokia E5 may be a downgrade for her, but that is another option I think can still be found in the market with relative ease.

    And she had better wake up. The industry has moved and the greater percentage of the population are happy with it. The dogged QWERTY supporters are very few to merit that kind of care for any big company that is forward thinking. Even Nokia and RIM couldn’t keep holding back. Touchscreen is where the world is headed.

  3. Let me ask this question, in picking/buying a phone, do you buy what everybody is buying or you buy what really serves use? Touch screen is great, most people like it, but this person doesn’t like it for reasons best known to him/her. I want to believe that in 20yrs from now some people will still like non-touch phone if only they will not be forced to go for touch screen by lack of non-touch phone in the market.

  4. Wow, I have a similar problem, I won’t be caught dead with any Blackberry phone. I love having a D pad for navigation. Most importantly am a wizard with my QWERTY keyboard. Am also a die hard Nokia fan. My current phone is a Nokia E5-00, I would have upgraded to a Nokia E6 but let’s face it Symbian is almost dead.

    So my question is this, is there any high specs Nokia Phone with a Dpad, touchscreen, qwerty keyboard running the windows 8? Am a bit patient too, so I can wait if one is in the pipeline

  5. @Andy, are you now saying, because someone hates automatic transmission in cars, we should hold back the valiant progress of technology and not embrace automatic transmission.?

    Or because some iconoclasts prefer carburetor_ed engines, we should not toe the modern trend of fuel injected powertrains.?

    Whoever wants to live in the past as regards technology should be ready to suffer that kind of regressive thinking alone.

    Even the BlackBerries of this world now realize that hardware keyboard belongs to the dark ages, an she better left to the cavemen of yore.

    1. No BlackBerry
    2. No large sized device or display
    3. No touchscreen

    Well, this person will easily find several modern smartphones satisfying 1 and 2 above.

    As to point three-she can just go for a hybrid (combination hydrate and touchscreen)

    If a hybrid will not be adequate, then she is beyond help!

  6. most OSes don’t do non touchscreen phones. for 1 android is a touchscreen OS so also is windows(I think). so there’s the future —> TOUCHSCREEN. even the sailfish,the meego & I think the bada

  7. alas I digressed, e5 isn’t bad. lets say the E series. and the should still be in the market

  8. Hmmm….. Just waking up to the realization that the non touch smartphones are no longer with us. The Berries that do superb qwerty s are changing too. iOS, android, windows phones, Bada, Tizen, Sailfish from Jolla, etc, all are into the touchscreen scam/conspiracy. So where does that leave those of us in love with the sweet tactile sensations of the hardware qwerty? 🙁

    Maybe we should have that compromise again (viz the full touch with side sliding qwerty). Yes, I can see many heads shaking a no answer and many fingers wagging warning signs all pointing to size and bulk. We want them slim, we want them tall. Are we talking about the fashion models here? Has anyone in the house done a research on the relationship between the size of the screen, the slimness of the mobile, and the libido of the user?

  9. 2012 is almost out… she should start living with present realities that OEMs are moving away from those her criteria.

  10. There are a few, albeit older models and not 2012 models: the HTC ChaCha, Samsung B7510 Galaxy Pro, as well as a Motorola, the name of which escapes me.

    There’s also the newer Samsung Galaxy Chat B5330 which is an Android phone which is possibly the only 2012 phone. I’m aware that there are Huawei and ZTE models with QWERTY keyboards as well, can’t remember the model names.

  11. Pls help !
    With a budget of about 35 k. Whc nice smart phone can I go for?
    I won’t mind a touch screen.

  12. The Nokia E6 is by far the best option, eventhough it use a touch screen. Small, physical qwerty keyboard, good screen resolution (VGA) compares to the E72, very tiny footprint, and decent battery life according to today’s standard.

  13. companies must satisfy the needs of all customers. i am of the opinion that physical keyboards without touch is better.so the phones, with advanced features, like e72, e5, e52 with quad core processor, minimum 1080 resolution,2000 mah battery,8 mp main and 5 mp front cameras,8 mb storage with provision to expand,must be produced and will warmly welcome by many users

  14. Newer isn’t always better and touchscreens are clear proof of that. Instead of a bespoke, well-engineered tactile navigation system, we’re forced to settle for pressing and swiping on something which may or may not have responded to the input and we have no tactile indicator as to whether the command even made it into the device! Further to that, you end up with a screen with fingerprints all over it which lays waste to the great image quality phones are now capable of.

    I’m still using my 2009 Sharp Sidekick LX; it has bugs which make it crash and lose everything in the phone memory, it no longer has Internet support but it is so much more intuitive to use than its so-called touchscreen ‘successor’ (the Sidekick 4G) that I’ll put up with the bugs and lack of Internet until someone out there can make something better. Someone ought to revive the Danger OS and get hold of the license to use that swivel-screen mechanism the LX had. People still say what a cool phone it is for that feature!

    Out of interest, has anyone tried the Mobilicity MobiFlip? I heard it was basically the Sidekick LX with updated firmware so that it could access the Internet again and was meant to also be more stable. As far as I can see, that’s the only viable upgrade out there from the LX. As far as I’m concerned, touchscreen can have the finger!

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